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and sway the outcome. exhibit a, the president rallied the crowd on monday in michigan to make the point he's looking to drive home. taxes have to go up on the rich. >> so when you put it all together what you need is a packet that keeps taxes where they are for middle class families. we make some tough spending cuts on things that we don't need, and then we ask the wealthiest americans to pay a slightly higher tax rate. >> but here's exhibit b. republicans still have the majority in the house. and many conservatives say they have their own mandate in their districts to cut spending and stop the president from raising taxes. and that brings us to exhibit c republicans are determined to play the long game to win. >> the game you're playing is small ball. you're talking about raising rates on the top 2% that have run the government for 11 days. you just got re-elected. how about doing something big that's not liberal, how about doing something big that really is about partisan. every big idea he has is a liberal idea that drowns us in debt. how about manning up here, mr. president, and use yo
? >>> and huge protests didn't stop michigan's governor from signing the right to work law. what's this tell us about the future of labor? >>> but we begin with the latest on the fiscal cliff. republicans made another counteroffer but it's reportedly not much different from their first offer. though we don't have specifics, we do know the president and john boehner talked on the phone last night and that call, according to a republican familiar with it, was tense and lasted just 15 minutes. i want to bring in real clear politics reporter aaron mcpike and david hawkings, editor of the cq roll call daily briefing. good morning. so president obama sat down with barbara walters last night. here's what he said. >> most important thing we can do is make sure the middle class taxes do not go up on january 1st and i'm pretty confident that republicans would not hold middle class taxes hostage to try to protect tax cuts for high income individuals. >> so he's confident. is it almost a foregone conclusion, do you think, david, that this is going to be the first piece of the puzzle that falls into place?
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